Tag Archives: Walking for a dream.

Remembering the fallen

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. From Australia to America, countries mark the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th minute with a minute of silence to remember the fallen of the Great War and the wars that came after it. Why is there nothing in India to mark the soldiers who gave their lives during these wars and the other wars that were fought? The Indian Army had 1.3 million men serving around Europe and the rest of the world in World War I and close to 2.5 million men in World War II making it the largest all volunteer force in history. We lost 130, 000 men in the two wars combined. That is a rough estimate. So how come when the world remembers their fallen, we maintain silence.

The silence for me is extremely uncomfortable. There are so many voices that seek to fill that void, so many noises that seek to give meaning to the silence. Do we as a nation do not care? Do we not wish to be reminded of the people who no longer are here? Are we so intent on erasing everything that represents the old that we are willing to turn away from the very people who made this nation a possibility? Are we so caught up in fighting the petty wars of today, that we could not afford a day to remember the people who gave the lives for a higher purpose? Or is patriotism a “uncool” factor that people talking about it are seen as weird?

A country that does not remember the fallen also does very little for the ones surviving. The Indian Government does not to my knowledge have a veteran’s division. A palce where veteran’s from the armed forces can expect some kind of aid, support and care. Our collective ignorance is abominable in light of the fact that the armed services in India has always been a volunteer force and there has never been a draft or compulsory recruitment. To a person who joins the army for the sake of his/her country the way we repay them is with a silence on the one day when they should be remembered. For all the national holidays, religious holidays, government holidays we couldn’t make time to remember them one day. The younger generation today remember only the Kargil War. Truth is Indian forces are stationed in more places than just Kargil. There needs to be a movement towards the improvement of veteran affairs, helping the wounded and the disabled and it should be done with the full knowledge of the public, just so we know that the people who are willing to give their lives are not because of a government’s ignorance forced to give it in vain. It needs to be done, not just for us to remember the ones who have fallen but also for the ones who have fought, and bear the scars of the battlefields, for the ones who are tormented in their dreams and are seeking help, for the ones who despair under the stress and for the ones who are willing to still go out there and fight.

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Gra(n)d Journeys!

As of May 20th 2008, I officially hold a Master’s in Public Policy and International affairs 😀

The reason perhaps I savor this moment so much is because it has taken me a while to get here. The interesting part about this whole journey is that I did not know I would be here. Simply because I have always been a science girl. I had pure science in high school. Pure science was – Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, and Physics. I did reasonably well. I went to get an undergraduate degree in Microbiology and internedfor a month or two in a biomedical department in a hospital. It is wierd how one small decision can have this dramatic change in your life that you wake up one morning wondering what the **** were you thinking.

I have always had a passion for history and politics. Hard not to, when the family’s most active conversations revolved around that. I have heard that it is not genteel to talk about religion and politics to strangers or people outside family. Well, then, my family was anything but genteel. All they talked about was history, religion and politics. My whole childhood revolved around the ‘Gandhi” family. I was a toddler when Indira Gandhi died and my father tells me stories of how we went around helping people escape from blood- thirsty people. I was woken up from deep anaesthesia induced sleep at a ridiculous hour of the morning when Rajiv died and sat through a whole conversation of what next…and I was in my really early teens. I know a lot of people go through these phases and have more actively participated in politics and such, but my point is I never realized what the impact would be on me.

I came here having absolutely no knowledge of where I was going. I am not kidding, when I tell you that it took me all of 2 hrs to make a decision that I now realize has changed my life forever. I cam here a little lost, hungry and with enormous dreams to make a life worth talking about. I found out about this school by getting lost, applied on the day of the deadline and got in 2 years after coming here and stretching myself thin. The moment I stepped into the first day of class, I knew I had come home. It is a difficult feeling to explain. It is not that I knew what I wanted, I only had a dream of what I wanted. I did not how which roads led there, I just followed with blind faith that the road I picked would go there. i just had my passion and desperate need to realize my dreams. I am here now, loving every moment of it and will kick and scream and punch if anyone dares to budge me or push me around.

I graduated as the “Outstanding Graduate student”, member of “Pi Sigma Alpha” and an honor student. I also gave the Graduate Student Address during the commencement.

This foot has just put on another shoe!!!!!!!